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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Stolen Remains by Christine Trent

A Lady of Ashes Mystery book 2
Publication Date: April 29, 2014
Publisher: Kensington
ISBN: 978-0758293244
Genre: Historical Mystery
304 pages
My Source: Netgalley

Author's Website

  'After establishing her reputation as one of London's most highly regarded undertakers, Violet Harper decided to take her practice to the wilds of the American West. But when her mother falls ill, Violet and her husband Samuel are summoned back to England, where her skills are as sought-after as ever. She's honored to undertake the funeral of Anthony Fairmont, the Viscount Raybourn, a close friend of Queen Victoria's who died in suspicious circumstances--but it's difficult to perform her services when his body disappears. . .
  As the viscount's undertaker, all eyes are on Violet as the Fairmonts and Scotland Yard begin the search for his earthly remains. Forced to exhume her latent talents as a sleuth to preserve her good name, Violet's own investigation takes her from servants' quarters, to the halls of Windsor Castle, to the tombs of ancient Egypt--and the Fairmont family's secrets quickly begin to unravel like a mummy's wrappings. But the closer Violet gets to the truth, the closer she gets to becoming the next missing body. . .
  Wrought with both heartfelt bravery and breathtaking suspense, Stolen Remains is a captivating tale of death and deception set against the indelible backdrop of Victorian London.'

Very interesting historical mystery! Takes place after the Civil War and during the building of the Suez Canal. The characters are well developed and interesting. I liked the idea of a woman undertaker which would have been very unusual at that time. Lots of interesting little tidbits, like how she embalmed a body at the deceased's home, the invention of dynamite by Alfred Nobel, that embalming bodies started after the Civil War in the US but people in the UK still frowned on the practice, and Egyptology all seamlessly woven in the story. If you like historical fiction then you will love this series. The third book is due out November 2014.

Lady of Ashes (Lady of Ashes Mysteries)
Stolen Remains: A Lady of Ashes Mystery
A Virtuous Death (A Lady of Ashes Mystery)

Ms. Trent also has 3 other historical novels about women with unusual professions:

The Queen's Dollmaker (a dollmaker to Marie Antoinette),
A Royal Likeness (an apprentice to the great waxworker, Madame Tussaud),
By the King's Design (a draper to the prince regent)

Peggy Ann

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